Artist raises the question of gender binary at EWU Art Gallery


Portrait of J. Casey Doyle | Courtesy of J. Casey Doyle

By Sam Jackson, Reporter

They Play, an exhibition of artwork that raises the question of gender binary, is made by J. Casey Doyle and will be displayed in the EWU Art Gallery.

The artist, J. Casey Doyle, is currently an Associate Professor at the University Idaho. He has been teaching sculpture and ceramic classes there since 2011 and has been a teacher since 2007. Doyle started pursuing art in 2000, he is trained as a sculptor, metalsmith, does performance art and video based work.

Doyle has a strong educational background in the art industry.

“He received his MFA with an emphasis in sculpture from the Ohio State University in 2007 where he was a University Fellow,” According to Doyle’s website. “He holds a BFA with emphasis in Sculpture and Metals & Jewelry and a BA with emphasis in Spanish from New Mexico State University. In 2014, he received an Idaho Commission on the Arts Fellowship. He exhibits his work both nationally and internationally.”

The work Doyle is presenting focuses around questioning gender binary and stereotyping through sculptural objects.


“I’m going to have a series of enlarged my little pony hair brushes that are covered in random textures,” said Doyle. “Often I am interested in pairing girl stereotype objects, like the my little pony hair brush, with boy-like textures that kind of question that realm of whether boys should play with certain things or gender. Then I’m going to have a whole other collection of hair accessories. Everything is scaled up to about two feet so they’re much larger than the original object.”


Though Doyle’s work has evolved over the years, it’s core has always been semi-autobiographical.

“In that I kind of work out some things that are happening directly or related to me, and even happening to the people around me,” said Doyle. “I think over time my work has evolved in terms of granting permission for myself and for those around me to kind of explore ideas and play.”

Doyle’s process for creating his artwork usually starts with a concept and that he then works out through various materials.

“A lot of my process is truly through play,” said Doyle. “ I’ll work up through multiple versions of it until I lock into something … I try to not hold myself accountable for that initial idea but to be open to chance and in the moment while kind of making documentation of myself along the way.”

Though it isn’t his first time showing his work in Washington, Doyle is excited to be showcasing his work at EWU.

“I am excited to see how the students react to it and to figure out a way to maybe engage further than just my show,” said Doyle. “Given that I teach at the University of Idaho, I’d like to see if there’s any sort of collaborative opportunities for workshops or some way for us to connect our students together.”


The artwork will be in the gallery from Nov. 8 to Feb. 23 and is open for viewing on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A reception for Doyle’s work will be held on Nov. 8 at noon.

‘My Little Pony’ hair brushes covered in random textures partnered with boy-like textures. Doyle’s work has evolved over the years, and he has always kept it semi-autobiographical | Courtesy of J. Casey Doyle